After an over 3-year closure, Thailand’s notorious Maya Bay is now scheduled to reopen on January 1st, 2022.
Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa announced the tentative opening date on Monday, as reported by the Bangkok Post.
The picturesque cove in Thailand’s Hat Noppharat Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, also known as “Maya Bay”, became world famous in 2000 following the release of the movie based on the book “The Beach”. The movie starred Leonardo DiCaprio, and it quickly became a must-see film for any traveler and backpacker.
Closure Of Maya Bay In 2018 Was Due To Overtourism
No, Maya Bay in southern Thailand didn’t close because of Covid.
Back in June of 2018, the decision was made by Thailand’s Department of National Parks to temporarily close Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le Island in an effort to restore the land and protect the local wildlife, including the coral reefs.
Improvements Made To The Region
Maya Bay’s reopening date was extended for over two years, but a lot of restoration has been done to the area throughout this period. New corals have been planted and the visitor facilities upgraded to help improve the travel process upon reopening. The new and improved pier for tourists to access the bay is in the final stages of construction.
At its peak tourist season, Maya Bay had over 4,000 visitors (and 200 motorboats) per day. Before the bay was temporary closed, more than half of the corals suffered “major damage.”
This picturesque spot was one of the most visited areas of Thailand for years. The region of the Southern Thai islands in general have been one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world over the past few decades.
Updated Travel Rules For Maya Bay
Maya Bay’s reopening will come with stricter rules than in past years. To promote a more sustainable reopening and hopefully preserve the region for the future, officials have outlined the new visitation guidelines for the area.
The new guidelines for visiting Maya Bay will include:
- Motorboats will no longer be allowed to directly enter the bay. Instead, all boats will have to anchor in another bay on the other side of the island.
- Only 8 speed boats will be permitted to anchor at a time
- Tourists will be allowed to visit Maya Bay for a total of one hour
- 300 visitors will be allowed in every hour, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time every day.
“Maya Bay has been continuously receiving interest from tourists around the world. But this has also caused (the natural area) to deteriorate, especially the corals. After shutting down Maya Bay to revive and restore it, up until the present, it has returned to a good condition,” said Varawut Silpa-Archa following the announcement of Maya Bay’s reopening.
Thailand Gradually Reopening To International Travelers
Following Phuket’s sandbox scheme in July, the Kingdom is gradually reopening to international travelers. From November 1st, fully vaccinated travelers from 63 countries (deemed ‘low-risk’) can visit Thailand and will only have to undergo one night of self-quarantine upon arrival while they wait for the results of their Covid tests. You see read the rest of the details here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com